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Ontario reports 409 new COVID-19 cases, one new death related to virus

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 409 new cases of COVID-19 today, and one new death related to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 63 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

She says 151 new cases are in Toronto, while 82 were in Ottawa and 46 in Peel Region.

The Ministry of Health says 286 cases were newly marked as resolved in today’s report.

The new figures come as Doug Ford’s office says one of the premier’s junior staff members has tested positive for COVID-19.

It says the staffer is part of Ford’s tour team, which organizes his appearances while travelling.

The premier’s office says Ford did not have close contact or prolonged exposure to the staffer and will monitor for symptoms.

Ford is still expected to participate in an announcement today on a new part of his fall pandemic preparedness plan.

Elliott’s office has confirmed the announcement will provide spending details related to testing and case and contact management.

The premier has already announced the province will launch a bolstered flu shot campaign in the coming weeks in a bid to preserve hospital capacity.

On Wednesday, the government said that up to 60 pharmacies will begin offering COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic people starting Friday.

Other yet-to-be announced elements of the province’s plan will focus on quick identification, management and prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The strategy will also address ways to reduce health service backlogs, prepare for case surges and recruit and train health-care workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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